France 1998 & 2000 squads - where are they now?
With Euro 2016 in full swing at L'Hexagone, let's take a look back at France's golden generation and find out where they are now.
France are widely tipped as one of the favourites to win Euro 2016 outright, and with such a phenomenal squad it’s little wonder.
With home support behind them in their own backyard, Les Bleus will hope for a run to the latter stages of the competition, and will surely have their sights fixed on getting to the showpiece final on July 10.
It’s been a while since they won a European Championship title – 16 years ago, to be precise, when their golden generation of stars won Euro 2000 thanks to a David Trezeguet golden goal thunderbolt against Italy in the final.
It was their best moment on the continental stage since 1984, and although they have been starved of success in recent years, the feeling is that they are on the up once again and can recapture their former glories. So, let’s take a look back at their squad from that ‘00 victory as well as the players who won the 1998 World Cup and run through where they are now.
*All players were included in both tournaments’ squads unless otherwise stated in brackets.
One of the best goalkeepers France has ever produced, Fabien Barthez was pivotal to both of their remarkable victories within two years of each other. An erratic performer, his displays saw him hog the headlines on more than a few occassions, and his two major international honours will always sit proudly in his personal trophy cabinet.
Winning the Yashin award in ‘98 for the best custodian, he was in his prime then and again a couple of years later. Since retiring, he has taken up a successful career in motorsport where he has won the GT Championship – so even though he hung up his goalkeeping gloves in 2007, it seems he didn’t waste any time in replacing them with some driving ones.
A substitute goalkeeper, the often forgotten Bernard Lama didn’t exactly do a whole lot on either occasion as he wasn’t called upon to fill the space between the posts – hence why he isn’t exactly fondly recalled by too many. That said, he had his moments down through the years and can still consider himself to be a world champion who also picked up four titles with Paris Saint-Germain as well as being named France Football’s ‘Best French Player’ in 1994.
Most recently, he was the director of a company that produces mineral water in Guyane, following some unsuccessful forays into football management.
Lionel Charbonnier – (World Cup 1998 only)
The third-choice goalkeeper for the national team set-up nearly 20 years ago, Lionel Charbonnier didn’t exactly leave a lasting legacy behind him but he was part of the fabric of the squad who tasted its only ever ultimate success, and that is something which can never be taken away from him. Moreover, he will be best remembered as a shot-stopper for Auxerre and Glasgow Rangers. Most recently, he became part of the Madagascar international team technical staff whose responsibilities included aiding with team selection.
Ulrich Rame – (Euro 2000 only)
Something of an icon at Girondins de Bordeaux, Ulrich Rame amassed almost 500 appearances between the sticks with them as he won Ligue 1 titles and more during his lengthy stay there. A back-up ‘keeper for their ‘00 triumph, he doesn’t immediately catch the eye for casual football fans of the tournament, but he was there nevertheless. In early 2016, he would go on to become the interim boss of the club, which goes to show how highly regarded he continues to be to this day. In fact, he is now the technical director of the club.